Generating Station Construction and Refurbishment

Generating station construction

The decision to build a power station is directly linked to the anticipated growth in demand for electricity. A utility must also take into account the fact that it takes about 10 years to complete a hydroelectric development.

Stages of construction

  • Site selection.
  • In-depth environmental impact assessment.
  • Building of roads and worker accommodations, since hydroelectric developments are often built in remote locations.
  • Construction of retaining works (dam, dikes and spillway) to control water flow at specific points.
  • Construction of the generating station: powerhouse, headrace and tailrace.
  • Construction of transmission lines.

See the main stages in the construction of the Eastmain-1 hydroelectric development.

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Generating station refurbishment

Hydroelectric facilities are generally designed to last 50 to 60 years. Regular maintenance can prolong the service life of a dam or power plant. But after a while, maintenance is not enough: the facility needs to be restored. Sometimes, it's more cost-effective to modernize a plant than to build a new one, as is the case with Beauharnois hydroelectric generating station. In other cases, it is preferable to start from scratch, as with the new facility (Rocher-de-Grand-Mère generating station) that was built next to Grand-Mère generating station.

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